OCTA: It's beginning to look like a better Christmas this year... | Inquirer News

OCTA: It’s beginning to look like a better Christmas this year…

...SAYS THE SITUATION WITH COVID-19 IS EASING UP BUT PUBLIC STILL NEEDS TO EXERCISE CAUTION
/ 04:01 PM September 08, 2022
Filipinos may see a "better" Christmas celebration this year compared to 2021, following the improvements of the COVID-19 situation in the country, a fellow of independent pandemic monitor Octa Research Group said Thursday.

A child accompanied by adults wears face mask and face shield for protection from the coronavirus as they visit a mall in Quezon City in this photo taken on December 1, 2020.
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos may see a “better” Christmas celebration this year compared to 2021, following the improvements in the COVID-19 situation in the country, a fellow of independent pandemic monitor Octa Research Group said Thursday.

Dr. Butch Ong said the country’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is currently high, and the public is now “more attuned” to health protocols. Also, current COVID infections are generally mild and asymptomatic.

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With this, the Philippines is looking to celebrate a better Christmas.

“Maaaring mas maganda ang ating kapaskuhan ngayong taong ito,” Ong said during an interview in Laging Handa press briefing.

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(We may have a better Christmas this year.)

He, however, still cautioned the public to strictly follow the existing health protocols and safety measures against COVID-19.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has recommended the voluntary use of face masks outdoors.

Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said the recommendation got President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s “verbal approval.”

However, Vergeire noted that the proposal is not yet a policy, citing the need to put this in a “legal instrument” such as an executive order.

As of Wednesday, the Philippines posted 3,896,541 cases, with 22,899 remaining active cases, based on the DOH’s COVID-19 tracker. — Christian Paul Dela Cruz, INQUIRER.net trainee

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TAGS: Christmas, COVID-19, face mask, OCTA Research, pandemic
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